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Arts/Culture Headline Opinions — 21 February 2014

By Alexa Hyman

Throughout the next week or so, it should come as no surprise if you spot sorority houses lit up at 11 p.m., hear loud music blaring from the Kresge dance studio or see girls (who may or may not be able to swim) running around in bathing suits at the Dow. While most fraternities find it hilarious to be dancing and flipping in a pool, Greek women (myself included) look forward to well-choreographed deck routines and productive practices in the freezing waters of eight a.m. On Saturday, March 1, all of our hard work will finally pay off at Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash.

Delta Gamma puts on this synchronized-swimming competition event to raise money for Service for Sight, an organization that brings aid to and awareness of the blind and visually impaired. The Anchor Splash competition has been widely successful in its attendance rates and accumulated just over $6,000 for donation during March of 2013. This year’s theme is “video games,” and all six fraternities and five sororities will create their own mash up track along with deck and pool routine to compete for a sorority and fraternity victor trophy (with additional bragging rights, of course).

So, what really goes on behind the scenes in preparation for this event?

Prior to these final weeks, the girls in each house with a sense of choreography have stepped up months in advance to create the routine that will be taught to the house. Costume ideas are brainstormed, props are built and a significant part of the competition, the sheet sign, is slaved over. For a full two weeks, at least 10 dry practices and five pool practices are mandatory. The pain of waking up at 7 a.m. to jump in the freezing pool is endured, tears are sometimes shed and by the Friday before the competition, legendary pep talks have been shared.

So why is it worth it?

“We all know its lots of fun but the fact that it’s for a philanthropy, and our philanthropy,” said Emily Waltz, Clarklake sophomore and member of Delta Gamma.  “It warms my heart that my house can do that not only for Albion, but also raise money for the visually impaired at the same time.”

Although good competition yields a great act of service, hours of practicing no doubt provides sisters of each house great bonding time.

“I look forward to the practicing prior to the event because each house spends hours on end practicing day and night,” said Mikaela Falsetti, Novi Sophomore and member of Kappa Alpha Theta. “It really connects the house and you become closer to people you weren’t as close to before. On Anchor Splash day, I enjoy the competitive nature and showing off the routine that took a lot of time and effort. “

More importantly, the competition brings together a more cohesive Greek community at Albion.

“We are all there to support each other regardless of what house we are in,” said Darby Williams, Traverse City sophomore and member of Alpha Xi Delta.

Over the next week, Greek women will be spending countless hours preparing and practicing for something that we imagine feels somewhat comparable to winning a gold medal in Sochi. While the hard work is dreaded by many, the outcome is well worth the time and effort. And let’s be honest, you won’t have another valid excuse to synchronize swim until you turn 90.

Photo by Alexa Hyman

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